Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Justin Jefferson’s Injury Not Serious, But Vikings Have Some Problems With Banged-Up Receiver

The Vikings have two Pro Bowl receivers, but those lining up with the first team in Saturday’s practice at US Bank Stadium were second-year man KJ Osborne, who never caught an NFL pass, and rookie Ihmar Smith-Marsett.

Justin Jefferson was ruled out of practice with a left shoulder injury, and Adam Thielen did not take part in team practice due to an unspecified reason. Neither is expected to be out for long, but the Vikings have some depth concerns at the wide receiver.

BC Johnson, battling to become the No. 3 receiver, lost the season a week earlier to a torn anterior cruciate ligament. And Dede Westbrook once again did not participate in team practice because he came back from a torn ACL last October.

“It’s just part of it at this point in the camp,” Thielen said after practice. “You know you’re going to beat people up a little bit, a little tired, a little upset. But I’m excited about what this group can do from a deeper perspective.”

Thielen declined to say why he was confined on Saturday, but said he felt “very well”. He was more outspoken about the severity of Jefferson’s injury that occurred on Friday.

Jefferson was injured in the middle of practice after being hit by cornerback Basoud Breeland. The injury was diagnosed as a sprain in the AC joint. NFL media reported Friday night that “tests turned out to be as good as possible” for Jefferson, and that they were “considered day-to-day.”

“He’s doing well,” said Thielen. “I don’t think he’s ever missed practice before in his life, but he’s doing great. Thank God it wasn’t anything serious and it’s like grinding with us before we know it , before he will be back there.

Wearing a hoodie under his Vikings jersey, Jefferson was on the field before Saturday’s practice. He was seen laughing and joking with Westbrook and others.

Jefferson broke the Minnesota rookie record in 2020 with 88 catches and 1,400 yards and was named to the Pro Bowl. Thielen made the Pro Bowls in 2017 and 2018 and returned last year after being injured in 2019 to catch 74 passes for 925 yards.

“You saw (the receivers) who were making the drama (Saturday) that they probably weren’t getting that many reps before, so it’s good to give people those opportunities, get people those reps and show them what they really are.” can,” Thielen said of Saturday’s practice.

Working with the first team were Osborne, Smith-Marset and Chad Beebe. Dan Chisena, Blake Prohl and Whoop Filor were among the bottom-ranks on the depth chart.

Hutchinson Installed

Former Vikings guard Steve Hutchinson, who was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in February 2020, is finally installed on Saturday night in Canton, Ohio. The ceremony, originally scheduled for last August, was pushed back a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“As far as I’m concerned, there is no better place on earth today than Canton, Ohio,” he said in his 8 1/2-minute speech.

Hutchinson played in the NFL from 2001–12, including 2006–11 with Minnesota. Those whom he thanked from the Vikings included the Wilf ownership group, head coach Brad Childress and players Adrian Peterson, Brett Favre, Matt Birk, Kevin Williams, Pat Williams, Ben Leber, Phil Lodholt, John Sullivan and Heather Farwell. He also thanked Vikings Hall of Fame defensive tackle John Randall, who fought Hutchinson in practice with Seattle during the first three years of his 2001–05 guard stint.

28 Hall of Famers are being recognized this weekend, 20 from the 2020 NFL Centenary class and eight from the 2021 class. After 2020 class members’ speeches are Saturday, 2021 class members will talk Sunday nights.

Hutchinson said in his speech, “My guess is that, if you’re sitting here today, wearing a gold jacket like me, you watched these celebrations on TV as a kid to see if I even made it today.” I can.”

waiting in the hall

With the events of the Hall of Fame approaching, Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson doesn’t deny that it makes him think about his potential future.

“Always, when I see it, I imagine myself to be there one day,” said Peterson, having been named a first-team All-Pro eight times with Arizona from 2011-20. “I still feel like I still have a lot of work to do, a lot of football left in me, and we’ll just tell time.”

Peterson missed out on his favorite part of the hall festivities on Friday when he said he had “daddy duty” and had to prepare some pizza and cinnamon buns for his two kids.

“I love to see people wearing their gold jackets,” Peterson said. “I wasn’t able to see that. I’m sure I’ll see some clips here in the near future.”

back to us bank

With nearly 5,000, Saturday’s practice marked the first time fans have seen the Vikings at US Bank Stadium since their December 29, 2019 game against Chicago. No fans were allowed into games last season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s great,” said Thielen. “With fans in practice and then now being here in the stadium, it gets us excited. That’s what we love. You don’t need to have a cup of coffee before coming here with the fans because they bring juice.

With the Cardinals, Pietersen played in regular-season games in 2016 and 2018 and in a 2019 pre-season game at US Bank Stadium. He said it was great to be back as a member of the home team.

“Now, when the ball is coming out of the sky, I get used to these lights,” he said.

Short

The highlight was Saturday’s defensive end DJ Vonum falling into coverage and returning a Jake Browning interception for a touchdown from 31 yards. … Linebacker Anthony Barr missed his third practice in four days with an unspecified injury. Rookie tackle Christian Darissau (Waist) did not take part in team practice. … Ken Nwangwu and Amir Abdullah return kickoff, and Abdullah, Osborne and Smith-Marsett bring back the punt. … Kicker Riley Patterson, who came off the PUP list on Thursday, made both his field-goal attempts from 36 and 49 yards.

Nation World News Desk
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